What is it?

Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease caused by the Leishmania parasite. Sand flies are typically infected with this parasite. Sand flies infected with leishmaniasis can bite you.

Tropical and subtropical climates are typical habitats for sand flies that carry the parasite. Asian, East African, and South American regions have suffered fatal epidemics.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Leishmaniasis

Signs & symptoms

Leishmania can be carried by people for long periods without causing illness. Disease forms have different symptoms.

Painless skin ulcers are the main symptom of this condition.

The mucocutaneous form of the disease usually manifests one to five years after the skin lesions. They usually have mouth, nose, or lip ulcers.

The following symptoms may also occur:

Nose congestion or runny nose

Having a nosebleed

Breathing difficulties

Symptoms of visceral leishmaniasis usually appear two to six months after infection. These are some of the most common signs and symptoms:

Loss of weight


A fever that lasts for several weeks or months

Spleen enlargement

Liver enlargement

The production of blood cells has decreased


Tell your doctor if you lived in or visited a place where leishmaniasis is common. In this way, your doctor will know to test you for parasites.

A biopsy may be performed by scraping one of the ulcers for a small amount of skin. They often look for the parasite's DNA, or genetic material. In order to identify the type of parasite causing the infection, they can use a variety of methods.


This condition is treated with antiparasitic drugs, such as amphotericin B (Ambisome). Depending on the type of leishmaniasis you have, your doctor may recommend other treatments.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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